Wenlock Priory: guidebooks

2020

The new English Heritage guidebook for the Cluniac priory at Wenlock adopts the new format for the series: a nearly square design that makes it easier to use on site than the previous tall format.

There are two main sections: the tour followed by a history. There are six ‘special features’ (what I would describe as information boxes) that include one on the Cluniac Order, and archaeology at the priory. The all colour guide includes a number of reconstructions, such as one for the chapter house, and an aerial view of the complex. (I miss the drama and atmosphere of an Alan Sorrell reconstruction!) The later history of the priory is included down to its placement in State Guardianship in 1962.

The guide by John McNeill includes a foldout plan inside the back cover, and a labelled photograph of the site on the folded out front cover. Both will help the visitor to understand the different parts of the monastic complex.

1965

The first Ministry guide to the site was by Rose Graham and was entitled ‘The history of the Alien Priory of Wenlock’ (1965). This reproduced her essay from the Journal of the British Archaeological Association (1939).

Cluniac foundations in State Guardianship

Crossraguel Abbey
Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

The Cluniac order was derived from the abbey at Cluny. The order was introduced to England at the priory of Lewes by William de Warenne, the first Earl of Surrey, and his wife Gundrada.

Wenlock_MPBW
1965

Wenlock Priory, Shropshire. [EH] The Cluniac foundation was made from St Mary of La Charité that had been refounded in 1059; Wenlock’s foundation by Roger Earl of Shrewsbury was likely to have been between 1080 and 1082. The priory was on the site of a late 7th century Anglo-Saxon nunnery.

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

Castle Acre Priory, Norfolk. [EH] The priory is likely to have been founded by William de Warenne, the second early of Surrey, probably after his father’s death in 1088.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

Thetford Priory, Norfolk. [EH] The priory was founded in 1103/4 by Roger Bigod. The monks came from the priory at Lewes.

Monk Bretton Priory, Yorkshire. [EH] The priory was founded in 1154 from Pontefract.

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Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

Crossraguel Abbey, Ayrshire. [HES] Crossraguel was founded as a result of an episcopal ruling in 1244. It was one of two Cluniac foundations in Scotland; the other was Paisley Abbey.

Furness Abbey: Guidebooks

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Furness Abbey © David Gill

The Cistercian abbey at Furness was established at the present site in 1127. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1923. The official guidebook was prepared by J.C. Dickinson in 1965. This contains a history, followed by an itinerary and description. A fold-out plan is placed inside the back cover.

Furness_MPBW
1965

The ‘blue guide’ continued into the 1980s as an English Heritage guide. It was replaced in 1998 by a new illustrated guide, combined with Piel Castle, by Stuart Harrison and Jason Wood; the section on Piel Castle was prepared by Rachel Newman. A fold-out plan of the abbey as well as its surrounding area is printed on the fold-out back cover.

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1998 (rev. 2015)

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Piel Castle © David Gill

Brougham Castle: guidebooks

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Brougham Castle © David Gill

Brougham Castle in Cumbria was placed in State Guardianship in 1928. The first paper guidebook was written by John Charlton in 1950. It has a section on the history of the site, including the adjacent Roman fort. There is a separate section on the ‘periods of building’, followed by a description. A plan of the castle is provided on the centre pages.

Brougham_DOE
1950 (repr. 1976)

The Ministry guide evolved into an English Heritage guide (1985) and a second edition was prepared in 1988. This contains a Tour of the Castle followed by a History. The text is considerably expanded. There is a short separate section on the Roman fort with an illustration of an altar to Mars.

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2nd ed. 1988 (repr. 1997)

This English Heritage guide is one of the ‘Gateway‘ sponsored guides.

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2nd ed. 1988 (repr. 1997)

The Charlton guide was replaced in 1999 by a joint guide with Brough Castle prepared by Henry Summerson. The histroy of each castle is presented followed by a tour. One of the sections is on ‘Wordsworth and Brougham’. Plans of both castles are placed inside the back cover.

Brough_Brougham_EH
1999 (rev. 2014)

Hadrian’s Wall: Carrawburgh Roman fort given to the nation

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Carrawburgh Roman fort © David Gill

The Roman fort of Carrawburgh (Brocikitia) on Hadrian’s Wall has been given to the nation by its present owner (“Hadrian’s Wall Roman fort ‘gifted to the nation’“, BBC News 9 January 2020). It lies between the forts of Chesters and Housesteads.

The fort was garrisoned by a number of units including the First Cohort of the Aquitanians.

The Mithraeum and Coventina’s Well lie to the west of the fort.

Augustinian Abbeys and Priories in State Care

South and South-East England

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The church of St Mary, Portchester © David Gill

Southwick Priory, Hampshire [EH]. The community dates to 1133 when it was established by Henry I at Portchester. The priory moved to its present site within the next two decades.

Bushmead Priory, Bedfordshire [EH]. Founded c. 1195.

East Anglia

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St Botolph’s Priory © David Gill

St Botolph’s Priory, Colchester, Essex [EH]. The Augustinian priory was founded c. 1100. It was probably one of the earliest foundations in England.

Waltham Abbey, Essex [EH]. The Augustinian priory was founded in 1177 and it later became an abbey.

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Creake Abbey, Norfolk © David Gill

Creake Abbey, Norfolk [EH]. The monastic site has its origins in 1206, although the Augustinian priory is later.

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St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

St Olave’s Priory, Norfolk [EH]. The priory was founded c. 1216.

Central England

Haughmond Abbey, Shropshire [EH]. The Augustinian abbey was founded in 1135.

Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire [EH]. Founded around 1148.

White Ladies Priory, Shropshire (Augustinian canonesses) [EH]. This seems to have been founded in 1186.

 

Wales

Llanthony Priory, Gwent [Cadw]. The priory was established c. 1118.

Penmon Priory, Anglesey [Cadw]. The monastic community became an Augustinian priory in the 13th century.

North-East and Yorkshire

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Gisborough Priory © David Gill

Gisborough Priory, Yorkshire [EH]. There are two foundation dates in 1119 and 1129.

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Kirkham Priory © David Gill

Kirkham Priory, Yorkshire [EH]. Founded by Walter l’Espec c. 1122, probably on the site of an earlier foundation.

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Brinkburn Priory © David Gill

Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland [EH]. Founded by William Bertran between 1130 and 1135.

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Thornton Abbey © David Gill

Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire [EH]. Founded in 1140.

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Lanercost Priory © David Gill

Lanercost Priory, Cumbria [EH]. The traditional foundation date of the priory is 1169 in memory of Hubert de Vaux.

Scotland

Holyrood, Midlothian [HES]. The Augustinian abbey was founded by King David I in 1128.

Restenneth, Angus [HES]. The Augustinian priory was established  by King David I.

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St Andrews © David Gill

St Andrews, Fife [HES]. The Augustinian foundation dates to c. 1130.

Jedburgh, Roxburghshire [HES]. The Augustinian priory was founded here in 1138 by King David I. This became an abbey in 1154.

Cambuskenneth, Stirlingshire (Augustinian of Arrouaise) [HES]. Founded around 1140 by King David I.

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Inchmahome Priory © David Gill

Inchmahome Priory, Perthshire [HES]. The priory was founded c. 1238 by the Earl of Menteith.

 

 

St Breock Downs Monolith

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© Patrick Taylor

This monolith stands at about the highest point to the south-west of Wadebridge in Cornwall.  It was re-erected in 1956 and placed in State Guardianship in 1965 when it was provided with an MPBW sign (now replaced). Note that the original name was longstone rather than monolith.

Note that the stone is now dated from the Late Neolithic to the mid-Bronze Age, i.e. c. 2500–1500 BC; this contrasts with the view in the 1960s as used on the sign, 1800–600 BC.

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St Breock Down Monolith © David Gill

The site is now managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust.

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St Breock Down Monolith © David Gill

St Andrews Cathedral

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St Andrews Cathedral © David Gill

The cathedral at St Andrews was constructed from 1160. Services were taken by the Augustinian canons. It continued in use until the reformation of the church in Scotland in 1560.

To the east of the cathedral lay the earlier St Rule’s church, dating from the previous century.

The cathedral ruins were placed in State Guardianship in 1946.

Stonehenge, 100 years: ‘a gift to be held for the nation’

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Stonehenge © David Gill

Today is the centenary of Stonehenge being given to the nation by (Sir) Cecil and Mary Chubb (1876-1934). He had purchased the site in 1915 from the estate of Sir Edmund Antrobus for £6,600 (Knight, Frank, and Rutley, Salisbury, September 21, 1915, lot 15). The handover was made to Sir Alfred Mond on 26 October 1915.

The surrounding land was purchased in 1927.

White Castle: guidebooks

Three_Castles_Cadw
1991 (2nd ed. rev. 2000)

White Castle lies between Abergavenny and Monmouth in the Welsh Marches. Its origins lie in the Norman Conquest of the region, but the earliest stone remains date to the 12th century. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1922.

C.A. Ralegh Radford prepared the guidebook for White Castle in 1934 (along with the other two castles of ‘The Three Castles’: Grosmont and Skenfrith). The DOE Blue Guide is partially bilingual.  The title page (but not the cover) gives the English and Welsh titles of the site: White Castle / Castell Gwyn, and it was prepared by the DOE on behalf of the Secretary of State for Wales. The guide is in two main parts: history and description. However it is introduced with a short summary in Welsh (pp. 5–7). There is a foldout plan inside the back cover.

The 1991 Cadw guide for the Three Castles was prepared by Jeremy K. Knight.

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1962 (7th impress. 1976)